Dinner In, Night Out

June 8, 2008

First, A Tasting

This afternoon we took a field trip to the liquor store since we were out of bourbon! We got our favorite, Makers Mark , but also got a small bottle of Knob Creek to try.

Once home, we did a tasting! I had the equivalent of inhaling a sip (in the "tiny amount" sense not in the "I drank a lot in a short amount of time" sense!) of each because it was really strong. I couldn’t decide which I liked better because I got liquored out before I had enough to make a choice! It was basically a tie.

The husband made a Mint Julip , and I a sip of that. The bourbon was MUCH better with sugar, ice and mint!


Around 5:00 I started getting hungry, but because we’d planned an early dinner I just had a small handful of trail mix to tide me over….


There’s a big food festival, Taste of Charlotte, going on uptown this weekend, and we made plans to meet some of the husband’s fraternity brothers tonight. We debated going to the festival for dinner, but neither of us was in the mood to eat little portions of high fat foods (and the food wasn’t exactly top-notch) so we decided to have dinner at home (saved money too) and meet his friends for drinks a little later. And perhaps an ice cream :)

We ventured into sardine territory again for a simple dinner. This time we tried the tomato-packed kind . I mashed it with some – you guessed it – cilantro pesto and capers and had it on an Ezekiel english muffin topped with half a slice of havarti cheese. The tomato sauce kind was good, but I preferred the lemon olive oil kind (so did the husband).

I PROMISE you this is the same as eating tuna from a can!!

On the side we roasted some grape tomatoes + cremini mushrooms for about 20 minutes at 400* in just a little cooking spray. Seasonings were kosher salt and fresh oregano from our garden.

Makes the perfect elegant side dish – and SO simple!

A few carrots on the side –

My grandmother sent me her pink china collection !!! The plate I ate on was Niagara Falls

Night On The Town

We stopped into the food festival first because the husband had 5 tokens leftover from his Friday lunch break visit to spend. Most of the food was just fair food (in the amusement park way and in a mediocre way!) so we choose a pistachio saffron gelato to try! We also did about 45 minutes of walking to help balance the extra snacks of the night.

It was rather melted in the heat… but REALLY good. About half a cup and I’d say I had a little less than half.

Then we had 2 tokens left so we got a cup of cinnamon peanuts . I had about 7-10 and the husband finished the rest.

I told you we’d be back to Press ! We went for a glass of wine while we waited for our friends. One trick we do if we’ve got a full night ahead of us or need to keep things lighter is to share a glass or a flight. If we need a second, we can always or order one. That way we can make the night last longer and get to enjoy two different wines each instead of one.

The server was nice enough to split it between 2 glasses. Cityscape in the background! Love the stemless glasses!

At our next location, a Spanish wine + tapas bar , we shared a rose flight. We didn’t really care for any of these.

So that was about the equivalent of 1 normal glass for me. The night was young, so I ordered a second glass . Turns out my glass was HUGEEEE. I knew if I finished it I wouldn’t feel that great in the morning but it was fantastic, so I did (and as expected, I feel less than stellar this morning 😥 )

Fourth Meal

Yep, we decided to order some antipasto for the table. I was actually kind of hungry since dinner was small and many hours before, so I had: 5 olives , 1 big piece smoked salmon , 25% of the goat cheese , and 1.5 manchego slices , and 2 tomatoes .

But my downfall was the grilled flat bread !! I had about 4 triangles –

We moved on to a different bar after this with our friends. There was a part of me that wanted to keep drinking, but after that monstrous glass of red, I knew I’d better stick to water. Actually, water in hand, I didn’t even miss a drink because it tasted really good on a hot night!

Here’s my club soda + lime with our friend Dallas , a.k.a., Dalla$

And club soda #2 with the husband’s double-fisted Leinenkugels ! (I did have about 3 sips of his beers)

We didn’t get home until 2 a.m. !!!!!!!!! We almost missed the lightrail too and got the last one out of the city. It was a fun night, but I’m a little cranky this morning with only 6 hours of sleep and dehydration.

We’re headed to Karen’s around 10:30 to workout at her condo complex and enjoy a sandwich lunch. Then tonight we’re going to see the Charlotte Symphony play an outdoor summer pops concert!! It’s my favorite thing about summertime :) We’ve got an open bottle of wine to take. I don’t want any wine today, but you can’t go to summer pops without wine, so I imagine I’ll have to have at least a small glass. The summer makes me want to drink more because it’s so festive and while I don’t drink large amounts, it’s still rough on my body so I need to watch it.

AND today I have to get really organized for my daytime + nighttime summer school starting tomorrow!!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Romina June 8, 2008 at 8:07 am

The roasted veggies look great!
Too bad the gelato melted, still tastes good though. =)


2 VeggieGirl June 8, 2008 at 8:21 am

Oh man, I make a MEAL out of those roasted grape tomatoes & cremini mushrooms – they look sooo delectable!!

Great Saturday night – hope your Sunday goes just as well!


3 Sara V June 8, 2008 at 8:26 am

It looks like you guys had a great time, I am jealous that you have so many amazing looking restaurants and wine bars to choose from! Hope you start to feel better today :)


4 Michele June 8, 2008 at 8:36 am

What a FUN night! I just love the summer. Enjoy the pops concert tonight.


5 Nikki June 8, 2008 at 8:40 am

Pops, so fun! Enjoy it! I second what VeggieGirl said – that’s a side that I would love to have for a meal!


6 magpie June 8, 2008 at 8:54 am

Your dinner looks perfect! I still have to get some sardines; haven’t had them since I was about 5 years old.

And I love all of your dishes! So pretty :)


7 Tina June 8, 2008 at 9:06 am

What a night! Looks like you guys had a blast! Happy Sunday! :)


8 Lauren June 8, 2008 at 9:22 am

Looks like you had so much fun!

For the grilled veggies you made yesterday, can you taste the olive oil you put on the veggies? About how much oil did you use?

Also, is that spinach fresh or bagged? I find bagged more convenient but it is also more expensive :(


9 Aimee H. June 8, 2008 at 9:28 am

I really do love bourbon.. it’s my liquor of choice without a doubt. I went to the Maker’s Mark distillery when I was in Kentucky last year and it was a blast!


10 Anne P June 8, 2008 at 9:32 am

LOL, i like the picture with Dallas! hope you feel better and have a fun saturday :) the outdoor concert sounds awesome!


11 Anne P June 8, 2008 at 9:33 am

and by saturday, i meant to write sunday! i WISH it were still saturday! :)


12 BethT June 8, 2008 at 9:57 am

I tried an interesting wine at a dessert bar last night – a sparkling pinot noir. It was so interesting! I don’t usually love sparking wines but I do love pinot noir. Have you ever tried it?


13 Alex B June 8, 2008 at 11:24 am

When I lived in Syracuse, I LOVED going to Taste of Syracuse for all of the free samples and cheap mini-portions of things that I would never normally order in a restaurant. Of course it was just last Friday and my mom was telling me about all of the drool-worthy items; sounds like Charlotte’s food festival is the same kind of thing – jealous!

Also, this may be a silly question, but did you not eat breakfast this morning? Or maybe you just didn’t post it yet.


14 Ilene June 8, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Hey everyone!

This is a question for everybody: How much do you normally spend on groceries per week? I am starting to eat healthier, and I’ve noticed that health food stores are much more expensive than other grocery stores.

Thanks! (I’ll be posting this on other sites as well)


15 Kath June 8, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Lauren ,
I only used about a tsp of olive oil. I drizzled it on and then rubbed it all over to evenly coat. It’s really pretty optional, and no, I couldn’t really taste it. Cooking spray would work fine. I can taste it on muchrooms, but not so much the other stuff.

I do get the bagged baby spinach. It’s so convenient for salads. We generally get all of our other greens in bunches and just salad mix pre-packaged. I don’t wash it – what’s the point of getting it bagged? I’m willing to take the risk and eat some dirt. it always looks clean to me.

BethT ,
I have had sparkling Pinot before – yum!! It’s hard to find though, so I haven’t bought a bottle before.

Ilene ,
We aim for $75 or less, but usually end up around $100-120 unless we eat out of the pantry + freezer a lot. It seems we’re always out of produce, fruit and dairy!



16 Sara June 10, 2008 at 11:17 pm

You have got to try Woodford Reserve bourbon. It is absolutely the best bourbon (and this is coming from a Kentucky girl)! I’ll drink other bourbon, but I always choose Woodford when I can. :o)


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